Saint James Way Self-Guided Bike Tour - Cycle the Camino de Santiago on your own from Leon

Self-Guide Bike Tour

7 Days / 6 Nights


On Request Best Rate

This is the best of self-guided bike tours for any cyclist wanting a taste of the traditions and history of the Camino de Santiago. Enjoy the St James way at your own pace. For centuries, it has been used by pilgrims to cross Northern Spain...



General Overview

Country: Spain
Region: Madrid
City: Madrid
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Type: Private Group Tour
Theme: Biking Holidays
Group Size: 2 or more
Price from: On Request Best Rate


This is the best of self-guided bike tours for any bicyclist wanting a taste of the traditions and history of the Camino de Santiago. For centuries, it has been used by pilgrims. One needs no religious beliefs, just curiosity and the wish to learn. On the route, the pilgrims are united by their course.

Listed as the main European Cultural Itinerary and scattered with delightful monuments such as old pilgrims` hospitals in Leon and Santiago de Compostela, we are constantly reminded that this route is the oldest, most celebrated and most frequented in Europe. It crosses the north of Spain beginning from the Pyrenees and provides views of breathtaking landscapes in the following regions of Navarra, Castile and Leon and Galicia, ancient monuments and most typical villages and cities from Pamplona to Burgos, Leon and to Santiago. Your accommodations are charming 2 and 3-star hotels, you may also choose some of the the highest quality: of three state-run Paradores on the bicycle route, two are very luxurious and the other hotels are of superior quality with a special charm. Savor the best of Spanish cuisine, traditional to the regions and accompanied by excellent wines from La Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Your luggage will be transported from hotel to hotel.

You will get to know Spain´s most spectacular landscapes, historical monuments and charming villages pedaling on a bike!

Day by day itinerary

Total bicycling distance of the tour 298 kms (186 miles)

DAY 1:
Meeting point at bike store in central location of Madrid (The exact map location will be sent to you)
- There, we give the bikes and provide transfer to the bus station in Madrid
- All the necessary documents and information to do this memorable trip will be also given: a complete package including hotel vouchers, your touring bike with all accessories, detailed documentation with maps and a road book
- Leon is 327km (207 miles) northwest of Madrid. The bus ride takes 4 hours and a half
- Leon has abundant gastronomic and architectural richness, dinner is best enjoyed by having tapas in the bars located along the narrow streets of the Barrio Humedo. The cathedral is a gem from the Gothic period with the 125 awesome stained-glass windows dating from the 13th century. Leon today is the gateway to the north-western routes of Galicia
- Upon arrival there will be time for a stroll around the city, visiting the cathedral and collect our Pilgrim`s Passports by bike accompanied by a glass of good regional wine
- Overnight in Leon

DAY 2:
49kms (31 miles) flat & rolling terrain.

- Breakfast
- Following a solid buffet breakfast, we leave today´s 49-km route takes us through classic Castilian landscapes, abundant in helm oaks, golden wheat fields and gentle ups and downs
- It is hard to get lost: the route never strays far from the N120 highway.
- The landscape in the first half of the route is relatively dry, but gets greener the further west you get; you will cross fields full of diverse crops, such as wheat, corn, hops and wine grapes
- Wildlife is not a big feature of this first part of the trip, though you will see geckoes, birds of prey and lot of dairy cows!
- Astorga was an important Roman centre, capital of the Maragateria region had as many hospitals as the much bigger city of Burgos. It hosts the Episcopal palace designed by Gaudi and today the pilgrim´s museum. It is also worthwhile to visit the cathedral.
- Overnight in Astorga

DAY 3:
75 kms(47miles) first big climb, rolling terrain.

- Breakfast
- Bicycling start after breakfast, we head from Astorga to Rabanal del Camino. There, the Camino starts to climb gently until it meets the first mountain on the way
- Once you`ve reached the top leaving behind Foncebadon and Cruz de Ferro, you will enjoy a memorable downhill ride enjoying fantastic landscapes first to the mountain village of Acebo, then Molinaseca and finally Ponferrada
- From there you will ride through the wine country of El Bierzo to Villafranca del Bierzo, where you will stop for the night
- The town is a historical and artistic monument, it was created to give refuge and sanctuary to the pilgrims before initiating the most difficult part of their pilgrimage. The monastery cloister is a jewel of the Renaissance.
Overnight in Villafranca del Bierzo

DAY 4:
85 kms(53 miles) strenuous uphill, descent and rolling terrain.
- Breakfast
- This is the most challenging day. From Villafranca you ride slowly towards the  mythical O`Cebreiro pass, the most demanding peak along the western section of the Camino. With a little patience it`s more than possible to reach the top, but in any case, a taxi, for those on the self-guided trip can be an idea
- From the top it`s downhill all the way to Sarria, and on a rolling route you will reach Portomarin
- The older neighbourhoods once belonged to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, but now lie submerged, covered by the waters of the Miño River dam.
Overnight in Portomarin

DAY 5:
51 kms(32 miles) Rolling terrain.
- Breakfast
- This day provides a lovely change to the previous day`s hard work. Several easy and long up hills and down hills go through rolling terrain, giving cyclists a view of Galicia`s rural landscape.
Overnight in Arzua

DAY 6:
40kms (25 miles) rolling terrain
- Breakfast
- Don`t let the short length fool you; the final stage is short, but rather demanding! After approximately four hours of riding, cyclists become pilgrims upon arriving at the Portico de la Gloria (The Façade of Glory) at the Cathedral of Santiago
- After taking a breath (and celebrating with others arriving by foot and on horseback!), you can visit the Pilgrims` Office where you can obtain the La Compostela Certificate which certifies you as an official pilgrim
Accommodation is centrally located, giving you the opportunity to explore the streets and bars of the historic centre after dark
- This city, without any doubt, is the most important of the Christian Middle Ages. It is world-wide renowned and each year, thousands of travelers come to visit its treasures. Santiago de Compostela, in the middle ages, the third most important city of Pilgrimage after Jerusalem and Rome, attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Thousands of travelers come to visit its treasures each year. The now luxurious Parador, once a pilgrim´s hospital, was built by the Catholic Kings in 1501. It is adjacent to the Cathedral, in the Obradoiro Square which is the final meeting point for all roads that lead to Santiago.
- Overnight in Santiago de Compostela

DAY 7:

- Breakfast
- Return to Madrid by bus or night train. Approximate transit time is 9 to 10 hours by bus
- !Hasta pronto y Buen Camino!
- Return tour bike rental where you pick it up either today or tomorrow morning.


Prices and Dates

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- 6 nights accommodation in (CLASS A): Paradores & 4* hotels or (CLASS B): 3* & 2* Hotels
- (B) Breakfasts as specified per itinerary
Transport with bike from Madrid to Leon or any other starting point and back from Santiago to Madrid by regular scheduled bus (ALSA)
- *Luggage Transport
(1 bag, max. 20kg) Hotel to Hotel included *With luggage transport option.
- Individually adapted 27-gear MTB bicycle (Trek 4300) equipped with panniers and front handlebar basket, repair kit
- Documentation & maps
- Welcome gift
- Local Taxes

- Route can also be started from Roncesvalles (750 km/470 miles to Santiago) 10 nights, 11 days.
- We also offer self-guided tours from Ponferrada (last 210 km or 130 miles which are necessary to get the certificate La Compostela or any other starting point. Please ask for complete information.
- Optional: Flying back from Santiago airport to Madrid Barajas at own expense. There is a night train leaving Santiago for Madrid which allows to transport the bicycles reserving a sleeping cabin.
We also offers support and logistics for groups, availability of two vehicles (Minibus VW transporter 9 seater each and two trailers for the bicycles).
- Difficulty level: B (Intermediate) and C (Advanced). From Leon 5 mixed routes mostly paved with some dirt tracks with no technical difficulty of 45-75 km rolling terrain with two pretty demanding climbing (Cruz de Ferro and O Cebreiro in Galicia. (25 to 47 miles) Routes are also perfect for road bikers although roads getting some more traffic towards Santiago de Compostela. Important: NO BICYCLE LANES into Santiago de Compostela.
- For any extra night or further information before or after the trip, please consult.
- 2009 starting any day of the year. Nevertheless, we recommend the months of late April, May, June, early July, late August (July & August are overcrowded with pilgrims), September and October. 2010 will be a Holy Year as St. James festivities fall on Sunday July 25th 2010. Early booking needed.


- Gratuities/Tips to Guide
- Entrance fees not specified in itinerary
- Airfare
- Optional Private Tour Addons
- Transfers not specified in itinerary
- Beverages not specified in selected meals
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Laundry Expenses 
- Telephone & Facsimile charges
- Excess Baggage charges 
- Passport & Visa fees 
- Personal & Travel Insurance
- Airport & Departure Taxes
- Optional excursions 
- Room Service 





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